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Breaking News - 5th November 2022

Mbunda People of Angola, Namibia and Zambia Praise Jehovah As They Receive News of Mbunda Language Bible Publication By Jehovah's Witnesses

By Courtesy of Zambia National Broadcasting Cooperation (ZNBC) TV2


ZNBC News Caster Reporting on the JW Mbunda Bible Publication
A JW Official Caphas Kalinda Announcing The Development At A Local Gathering In Lusaka


For many years, the Bible in Mbunda language was not easily accessible to many people. However, this will be a thing of the past following the translation of the Bible into Mbunda language by Jehovah's Witnesses. The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures in Mbunda language was release over the weekend at a special meeting in Lusaka. Caphas Kalinda who was coordinating the translation announced: "We are happy to announce the release of the New World Translation of The Greek Scriptures in the Mbunda language".


In revealing the features of the new Bible, the earlier speaker Lilema Katakala explained in Mbunda language: "However, you need to ask yourself! Do we really need a new Bible when we already have God Jehovah book the Bible? Yes, we need it because when you receive this Mbunda Bible and begin reading it, what do you expect to find in it? Let us discuss only few features that we find in this new Bible, that has made us to resolve that we really need a new Bible.


1). The first is that, when you read this new Bible, you will find that it has used the name of God 'Jehovah' 237 times. That gives revelence to the owner of the Bible. It has revealed Jehovah's name, therefore whoever reads this Bible will know the name of our God Jehovah and make friendship with Him. However, many Bibles these days do use Jehovah's name, this causes confusion and lack of clear understanding. For example, the earlier version of Mbunda Bible (Mbimbiliya ya Shukulu Kalunga) does not have Yehovah's name. It uses words like God (Shukulu Kalunga). Therefore because of not using Jehovah's name, it is difficult to explain to someone clearly that God's name is Jehovah. So in some areas, lack of Jehovah's name brings challenges. For example, at Matthew Chapter 22 in verse 44, many Bibles this verse has been translated as: 'The Lord spoke to my Lord'. Who spoke to who, as you listen? However, these words come from Psalms 110:1. When yo consider the original Hebrew language, you find Jehovah's name is there. How has this verse been translated in the New World Translation of Christian Greek Scripturs (Mbimbiliya ya Kaye Kakaha ya Visoneka Bya Cigriki Bya Vaka Kristu mu Mbunda)? Let me read: 22:44. The Bible Reads: 'Jehovah told my Lord that....(Yehova, walekele Mwata wange ngwendi......)'. How do you get it? Is it not clear, understood clearly that those words, were spoken between two different persons, isn't it? That is true. Therefore, words help us differentiate between Jehovah and His Son Jesus, who was referred to as Lord in verse 44. It is true, it is important to know that trueth, in order to strengthern our friendship with Jehovah. Similarly, one other way, we ought to differentiate properly between Jehovah and His Son Jesus, is found Acts Chapter 2, and reading verse 21. The Bible reads: 'Whoever calls upon Jehovah's name, will be saved'. Did you get the point? Knowing Yehovah's name, will save you, if you don't know it, you won't be saved. That is why it is important to having a Bible of the like of the Christian Greek Scriptures in Mbunda language (Bisoneka Vya Cigriki Vya Vaka Kristu), to help our Mbunda friends to know that name.


2). Here is another feature, that makes us say, it is important to have another Bible. It is found in Matthew 5:3. The earlier Mbunda Bible translation (Livulu Lya Shukulu Kalunga) reads: 'Rich are those poor in Spirit, since Heavely Kingdom belongs to them'. How has this verse been translated in the Mbunda language New World Translation of the Greek Scripture (Mbimbiliya ya Kaye Kakaha Ya Visineka Bya Cigriki Vya Vaka Kristu mu Mbunda)? Reads: 'Happy are those in search of God, because the Heavenly Kingdom is theres'. Have you seen the difference? A person who is concious of God, is hungry of Spiritual things. Will be bound to do something about it, so that the hunger felt would be quenched. This verse has been well translated, isn't it?


3). Another feature. In many Bibles, they have used the word 'Cross', which originates from pagan false worship, claiming where Jesus was crucified. However, the trueth is that the word does not mean 'Cross'. That is why, in this Mbunda language Bible released, you will not find the word 'Cross' at all. It has been translated the way it is supposed to be, as 'A tree of persecution'. That presents clearly a tree that was used to prosecutive Jesus and killed him.


After receiving these features, we believe you are happy, that you now have the Bible which will help strengthen your frienship with Jehovah, and enjoy using it in the witnessing work. Aren't you anxious, wanting to receive it? So, what is our encouragement as you leave this place? We encourage you all, to find time and read this New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures (Mbimbiliya ya Bisoneka Bya Kaye Kakaha Bya Kaye Kakaha Bya Cigriki Bya Vaka Kristu). Study it well and know God's purpose. If you do that, you will enjoy the contents of the Bible. For example, the printed Bible is well published, easy to read. You will enjoy and know that, the words have been made larger, so that even those with eyesight challenges could read. You will find even the table of contents. These will help you locate scriptures easily. You will find again references at the end, these will help you know things that have been explained in the words and expressions used, which are contained in the verses. But most important, you will enjoy reading this Bible because you will be convinced that it is well translated, and have used many words that are spoken on daily basis. If you read this New World Translation Bible, your faith will be strengthened together with your friendship with Jehovah. You will benefit, bcause you will have strong friendship with Jehovah, all the years because you would be reading the Bible in the language you speak every day. It is true, it si an outstanding book throughout the world, compared to none. It will make you teachings good, which would help every person who has a good heart lead him. Yes, the Bible is a special gift given by God to people. The Bible has power more than a double edged sword. We pray that you find help as you read this Bible, whether in your family, alone and during preaching work, so that it can help people develop a strong friendship with Jehovah.    
A JW Member, Philemon Kabulwe 

In an later interview within the premises, a JW member by the name of Philemon Kabulwe disclosed that; "It was a lot of work that went into it. The translation started in 2020, so it has taken two years. That shows that there was a lot of research that the translation team did in order to come up with words that are really understood".


This development has elated the Mbunda Speaking Community and those spoken to have described the new Bible as easy to understand. Another JW member, Arthur Kanyanga spoken to said; "I am really happy since that most of my Mbunda Speaking People will be able to enjoy and understand the language fully". Yet another JW member, Enoch Chingina said; "I am really happy listening to it being released, has made me happy that finally we have a new Bible in Mbunda.

Eunice Mulenga being interviewed at the event. 

A Lecturer in Literature and Languages at the University of Zambia, Eunice Mulenga says the translation of the Bible in the Mbunda language, will promote the use of local languages; "It is good for people to learn how to read, especially in the language that they understand. I am sure even yourself, you really enjoy reading and listening to stories in the language that you speak at home.

Claire Kashukwe Limbwambwa on the left, being interviewed at the event. 

At the same occation, the National Chairpeson for Cheke Cha Mbunda Cultural and Writers Association, Claire Kashukwe Limbwambwa who was invited to the event, commended Jehovah's Witnesses for the translation of the Mbunda Bible in Mbunda language.
Cheke Cha Mbunda National Chairperson, Claire Kashukwe Limbwambwa was invited to the launch. Standing with her are: Harriet Mushaa Musukula, Maputa Liweleya and the mother.

Our Addition:

The first Bible translation in Mbunda language (Livulu Lya Shukulu Kalunga) was began by the Mbunda people themselves in Mbundaland now unified as Angola, in the year 1914. It endured a lot of challenges until the work was taken over by the Cheke Cha Mbunda Cultural and Writers Associan in the year 1981 and completed in the year 2008 with the help of the Bible Society of Zambia. It was first launched in Angola a day after the restoration of the Mbunda Monarch Ceremony on 17th August 2008 whose 21st Monarch was kidnapped by the Portuguese colonialists in 1914 and stalled the translation work.


Coincidentally, the New World Translation of the Greek Scriptures in Mbunda language by Jehovah's Witnesses was launched at the weekend of 5th November 2022, exactly one month after the Cronation Ceremony of the the 23rd Mbunda Monarch in Angola.

First Reported By Zambia National Broadcasting Cooperation (ZNBC) TV2


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